10 Christmas Movies and Treats for Kids on Family Night

I’ve rounded up 10 Christmas movies for kids to watch on your next family night, plus a unique snack to go along (no cooking required!).

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.

Christmas movie for kids

PLAN A CHRISTMAS FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT FOR KIDS

Two things I love most: movies and treats. One thing I’m not such a fan of: cooking. Here I’ve rounded up 10 Christmas movies for kids that you watch with your family this month plus a unique snack to go along (no cooking required!).

However, there is one exception with the Christmas Cornflake Wreaths, because it reminds me of my grandma and I can’t find them in stores—you won’t want to miss it!

So make time to have a family night or two this Christmas! Try out at least one new Christmas movie for kids and vote on your favorites!

10 CHRISTMAS MOVIE NIGHTS + TREATS!

Christmas movie for kids

1. Elf + Hershey’s Mix

Remember the scene where Buddy makes spaghetti with syrup and candy? Well, I didn’t think you’d want to go there with this snack, so I found an alternative. Grab this Hershey’s mix or make your own holiday trail mix to go along with the movie. If you really want to be authentic, chug a coke and have a burping contest!

Christmas movie for kids

2. Rudolph + Peppermint Bark

There’s nothing that reminds me more of my childhood Christmases than watching Rudolph. This year I’m adding the Abominable Snowman and a few Misfit toys to my outdoor Christmas scene. Try a bite (or two!) of this peppermint bark to get in a wintery mood!

Christmas movie for kids

3. The Grinch + Cornflake Wreaths

I am not a fan of cooking, so I love a good shortcut, but these can’t be replaced with anything store bought. The kids and I love dying the marshmallows green as we melt them and make a cornflake version of Rice Krispy Treats. Shape them into little wreaths, add red hots for berries and let them cool! Enjoy your green treat while you watch the Grinch’s heart shrink two sizes too small.

Christmas movie for kids

4. Frosty the Snowman + Snowballs

Another Christmas Movie classic from my childhood, you’ll be stuck with this song in your head long after you finish the show! Snuggle up during this chilly movie and share a few white cheddar Snowballs from Utz!

Christmas movie for kids

5. Mickey’s Christmas Carol + Christmas tree cakes

While there have been many versions of this classic Dicken’s tale, this one is by far my favorite. This 30 minute film aired on the Disney Channel each Christmas when I was a kid. Of course, this has to be paired with another childhood classic, Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes!

Christmas movie for kids

6. Santa Clause + Christmas tree cookies

While kids these days have no idea what Home Improvement was, I watched every episode growing up. At the height of his career, Tim Allen starred in The Santa Clause, a movie which my children are convinced is a documentary of our modern day Santa…Make your house smell like Christmas by making these ready-to-bake Christmas Tree Cookies!

Christmas movie for kids

7. A Charlie Brown Christmas + Christmas Pretzels

Oh Charlie Brown, you’re the best! Introduce your children to this sweet little guy who can’t seem to catch a break. After watching him get a bag full of rocks at Halloween, it’s nice to see his friends finally rally around him and give him the Christmas he deserves. For a break from the sweets, check out these adorable Christmas-themed pretzels that your kids will want to play with before eating!

8. Home Alone + Holiday Popcorn

Last year I finally introduced this “real people” movie to my kids and they laughed hysterically as Kevin McAllister outwits two robbers. After watching Joe Pesci in this family film, you might feel the need to put the kids to bed and break out some of his old gangster movies with your hubby by the fire. You’re going to need to snack for awhile with all these movies to watch.

9. Jingle All the Way + Holiday Nuts

The movie my husband loves to hate. Between the terrible acting and the cheesy dialogue, is the genius that is Sinbad. Yep—Sinbad. If you haven’t seen this, you’re missing out. Hysterical. Also check out Phil Hartman in this during his prime SNL days. Since most of the characters in this film are a bit crazy, I decided to pair this with some holiday nuts. Pun intended.

10. The Polar Express + Hot Chocolate

You can’t call it Christmas without finishing up with this cozy movie. Get fancy, or make it simple as you drink hot chocolate during the ticketing scene.


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Merry Christmas!

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Teach Your Children the Bible Using a Jesse Tree Ornament Tradition

Teach your children the Bible stories of creation through Jesus’ birth this Christmas using a Jesse Tree to focus on the true reason for the season.

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THE REASON FOR THE CHRISTMAS SEASON

Christmas is my favorite time of year. The hot chocolate, the movies, the lights, the presents, and…SANTA!

There’s something magical about the holiday season that seems to bring out the best in people.

However, if I’m not intentional, I miss the opportunity to teach my kids about the reason for the season. Christmas can easily become more about Santa rather than Jesus when we spend most days leading up to it talking about food, family, and presents.

I don’t want to miss this perfect chance to reinforce all of the things I teach my children throughout the year:

  • Be kind
  • Love others
  • Treat others the way you want to be treated
  • Take care of those in need
  • Share
  • Be thankful

So through some advice of other seasoned moms, a little creativity and a little too much time on Pinterest, I’ve found ways to create traditions that train our children to focus on Jesus all month long. One of my favorites is the “Jesse Tree”, which we use as our Advent Calendar at Christmastime.

Jesse tree ornament

THE ANCIENT TRADITION OF THE JESSE TREE

When my son was 2 years old, I learned about something called a Jesse Tree. It’s a way of connecting the tradition of decorating the Christmas Tree with the story of Jesus. In some form or another, the tradition of the Jesse Tree has been used for over 1,000 years!

The Jesse Tree tells the stories from creation to Christmas, highlighting the people, prophesies and events leading up to Jesus’ birth.

Jesse, the father of David, is mentioned in an Old Testament prophecy about his connection to the future King—the Son of God.

The Branch From Jesse

"A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and of might,
    the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
    or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
    with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
    with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked."

Isaiah 11:1-4

The branch symbolizes a new beginning—Jesus is the new branch!

Jesse tree ornament

HOW WE USE THE JESSE TREE TRADITION

I started searching on the Internet for ways to duplicate this tradition in my home, but everything I found seemed too formal or expensive. So using the Bible, I came up with a reading plan for every night in December leading up to Christmas.

Each night we read the story, look at the pictures, and predict what will happen. Then, we find the ornament that symbolizes our story and add it to our tiny tree. As we approach Christmas, our tree fills up with stories from the Bible.

I like to place our tree on the dinner table, so that we can quiz the kids about previous stories or even read the next one while we eat. Having it in front of us each night helps remind us to keep up with the schedule. It also keeps the story of Jesus at the center of our focus, instead of the list of presents we hope to get.

I am so excited to share these with you and hope that you are inspired to start this new tradition with your family this Christmas! The lights, the presents, and the Santa parts of Christmas are amazing, yes!–but I want to make sure that I am being intentional in teaching my kids that Jesus is the reason for the season.

Jesse tree ornament

ORDER YOUR OWN JESSE TREE ORNAMENTS

I’ve created a set of printable Jesse Tree ornaments that you can use to teach your children the story of creation to Christmas! You can print a full-color set for your family or individual sets for each of your children to have their own tree. I’ve also included black and white versions to use as coloring pages for a fun activity.

**TIP: I have included the Bible reading plan, but the stories can get lengthy, so using a Children’s Bible is a great substitute until they get older. I recommend The Beginner’s Bible to use with these printables.**

what is a Jesse tree
what is a Jesse tree

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I wish you the very best this Christmas season!

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Printable Itinerary Full of Family Activities on Thanksgiving Day

Be intentional in how you celebrate the holidays this year by creating a Thanksgiving itinerary full of fun family activities!

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure here.

Thanksgiving activities with family

MAKE YOUR THANKSGIVING A DAY TO CELEBRATE

Don’t let your Thanksgiving holiday be focused on a big meal and figuring out where everyone will sleep, instead turn it into an all-day celebration!

No need to break the bank or make it complicated—just keep it fun and centered on gratitude.

Here are 10 things you can do to celebrate the entire day of Thanksgiving with intention.

10 FAMILY ACTIVITIES ON THANKSGIVING

1. Eat a special breakfast

Mark the occasion with something you don’t normally eat. Cinnamon rolls, donuts, monkey bread, French toast, egg casserole, quiche…find lots of recipes here.

2. Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The parade usually starts at 9 and wraps up around 12 with Santa waving hello to mark the start of the Christmas season. We usually like to have it on in the background just to make our morning more festive.

3. Decorate a gratitude tree

Focus on what the Bible teaches us about what we have to be thankful for with these gratitude tree ornaments:

4. Set out a few snack trays

Because Thanksgiving dinner is usually a huge undertaking, set out a few snacks for lunchtime to keep everyone busy and still hungry for an early dinner. Premade snack, fruit and veggie trays are perfect! Warm apple cider is also a great way to keep guests cozy!

5. Decorate a tablecloth or make Thanksgiving crafts

These throwaway tablecloths are perfect for keeping little ones busy, and a few simple crafts are fun too!

6. Start on a puzzle or play a card game

This is a great activity for adults to have to pass the time while waiting for dinner to be served. Decks of cards, or a table with board games is a quick add to your Thanksgiving itinerary.

7. Make phone calls to loved ones

Someone can’t make it to dinner? Call/text or leave a video message to tell them you’re thankful to have them in your life.

8. Family chain prayer

If your family gathering is small, a great way to acknowledge that the holiday is about gratitude, is to have a chain prayer where each child takes turns to tell what they are thankful for before the meal is served.

9. Eat Thanksgiving dinner

Enjoy the big meal whether it’s delivered, or made from scratch in the kitchen!

10. Watch a family movie together

Wrap up the night with a cozy movie—maybe a Christmas one to kick off the holidays!

PRINT YOUR THANKSGIVING ITINERARY

Grab this free printable so you can follow along with all the family fun. Click the image to print:

Thanksgiving activities with family

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving activities with family

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